Winning Business Proposals Module 6


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Step-by-step methodology for building winning business proposals - based up Deiric McCann's bestselling book 'Winning Business Proposals' (

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  • Question & Whiteboard: If you were chatting with your client, and wanted to summarise all of the messages in your proposal into one simple sentence, what might that sentence sound like? What would it have to include?
  • Winning Business Proposals Module 6

    1. 1. Module 6 | Structure and Outlining Winning Business Proposals
    2. 2. You Chat with Your Client... <ul><li>“ Hey, we understand your Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>thoroughly, and we have a Solution to those requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>You can see that there are substantial Benefits to adopting our approach. It will only Cost you... </li></ul><ul><li>By the way, if you require more detailed information...” </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    3. 3. … So Should Your Proposal <ul><li>Section 1: Your Requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Section 2: Our Proposed Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Section 3: Particular Benefits of Our Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Section 4 : Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Section 5: Appendices </li></ul>Not everyone wants to read all of that, So you must add an Executive Summary Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    4. 4. The “Executive Summary” <ul><li>Summary For Senior Executive Readers </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation/Introduction For All Readers </li></ul><ul><li>Overview Of Key Proposal Points </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis On Key Benefits/Selling Points </li></ul><ul><li>As Brief as Possible </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    5. 5. Winning Business Proposal Structure <ul><li>Section 1: Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Section 2: Your Requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Section 3: Our Proposed Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Section 4: Particular Benefits of Our Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Section 5: Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Section 6: Appendices </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    6. 6. Client Specified Layouts? <ul><li>Check whether other layouts are acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Try to sell the client on the “Winning” Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Offer to include a “Compliance Matrix” </li></ul><ul><li>Always present the proposal in a client-acceptable format </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    7. 7. Outlining ..the most important proposal writing skill Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    8. 8. What Is Outlining? <ul><li>Identify the main ideas you wish to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Organise those ideas in a logical running order </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the flow of ideas works and then... </li></ul><ul><li>Flesh out this framework, bit by bit </li></ul><ul><li>Outlining time is not a “luxury” - skipping it doesn’t save time… </li></ul><ul><li>Outlining is the best way to get anything started </li></ul>The real skill in good writing is in working out what you want to say - before you begin to write Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    9. 9. Outlining Your Proposal <ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do It Last </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Your Requirements” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start With The “Outline Requirements Statement” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The Proposed Solution” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start With The “Outline Solution Statement” </li></ul></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    10. 10. First-level outline Begin with the Winning proposal structure, or build your initial framework with “ProfIT Tools” Section 1: Executive Summary Section 2: ClientCo’s Requirement Section 3: The Proposed Solution Section 4: Benefits of the Proposed Solution Section 5: Costs Section 6: Appendices Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    11. 11. Second Level Outline <ul><li>Build up each section with headings representing the key areas you must cover. </li></ul><ul><li>The Requirement Section can be the “Outline Requirements Statement” </li></ul><ul><li>The Solution section can be the “Outline Solution Statement” </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    12. 12. Third-Level Outline <ul><li>Take each section and develop each of the key headings further, introducing key sub-points which support your headings </li></ul><ul><li>Then create and integrate any required graphics into the outline </li></ul><ul><li>You’re then ready to start writing - fleshing out the various points in your outline </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    13. 13. Outlining The Benefits Section <ul><li>Consider Your Strengths and Weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Your Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritise Your Benefit Statements </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a One Or Two Line Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drive home the key benefit(s) immediately </li></ul></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    14. 14. Outlining The Appendices Section <ul><li>All DETAIL goes Here: </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Company Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Other Supporting Literature </li></ul>Use lots of references to this material in the key proposal sections - answer all possible questions Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    15. 15. General Writing Tips <ul><li>Spell out your objectives before you start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you wish to inform, persuade, request, promise, confirm, deny? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analyse your readers before you start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will read this? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What interests him or her? </li></ul></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    16. 16. The readers will ask <ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul><ul><li>Why me? </li></ul><ul><li>So what? </li></ul><ul><li>Who cares? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should I trust you? </li></ul>Answer these questions early on, while they’re still paying attention Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    17. 17. General Writing Tips (More) <ul><li>Create an outline before you begin to write anything </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that writing is the best possible communications tool for this job </li></ul><ul><li>Make a checklist of key points - to inspect the finished letter, proposal etc </li></ul><ul><li>Use transitions between paragraphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Later, furthermore, additionally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As in Topic a, Topic b… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand the words you write </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    18. 18. General Writing Tips (Even more) <ul><li>Look up synonyms for repeated words </li></ul><ul><li>Be succinct and concise </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid qualifiers like rather , quite , somewhat </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid weasel words like might , probably , sometimes </li></ul><ul><li>You might improve your writing somewhat if you sometimes try to follow these suggestions </li></ul>Good writing is rewriting - this is key Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    19. 19. The Executive Summary <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two / three lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up-beat and confident - make a statement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A few paragraphs for each main proposal section </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarise the Requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarise the Proposed Solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summarise the “Benefits” Section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omit the Costs Section - unless they’re a positive </li></ul></ul>Use Client Language Throughout Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    20. 20. Module 6 | Structure and Outlining Congratulations! Your First Draft is Complete
    21. 21. What Next ? <ul><li>Read, revise & edit your proposal... </li></ul>Module 6 | Structure and Outlining
    22. 22. Are you an in-house trainer or a sales trainer / consultant? Want a full set of these slides to integrate into your own programs? These are available to all bulk purchases of the latest edition of ‘Winning Business Proposals’ who purchase 200 copies or more in hard copy or electronic formats. For pricing information or any other enquiries: please use the contact form on Would you like a full set of all 7 modules of this course in an editable PowerPoint format?